Ron Jude – Dark Matter

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In assessing Dark Matter, I am also reasonably confident that this use of newspaper imagery is lodged in the artist’s practice from influences such as Michael Schmidt, whose book EinHeit, produced in the 90s, made great use of similar aesthetics of inconvenient German history, which was photographed and hung in exhibition form next to photographs of Berlin, the reality of the future playing off the undoubted inconvenience of the past. I will, as a fan of Schmidt’s work, suggest that the German artist’s use of these materials in EinHeit is almost certainly pulled from the painter Gerhard Richter, whose work on the Baader Meinhof deaths (1971), amongst other works, pulls subject matter from these types of violent newspaper images and repurposes them into a different type of contemporary history painting. No different with Schmidt, no different with Ron



…Dark Matter is a logical offering, an extension of Jude’s career. It reminds us that he is of that rare stock of artists who can work through several different types of image-making in tandem without it seeming to disrupt the overall view of his career. These are only slight deviations; all the primary concerns remain intact and are a continuation, not a disruption to the overall oeuvre. I would imagine that he has been waiting to do a book and an exhibition solely based on this vernacular material for some time but needed a moment to work on it and to take the risk. I would also like to tip the hat to Monogram for releasing a group of much-needed smaller books by excellent artists such as Ron and Camille Vivier. Highly Recommended


Original Press Release and Specifications
€24,79november 2022
limited edition of 500
20 x 26 cm, 64p,
ills. color, double pamphlet stitch binding
In Dark Matter, Ron Jude revisits the source material taken from photographs in his hometown newspaper in Central Idaho in the American West. In this new body of work, Jude reimagines how these photographs can be configured to reflect this microcosm’s collective mood and values. Motivated by a sense of unease and bewilderment with the cultural bifurcation of America, and grounded in a sense of tragedy, loss, and rage, Jude uses a looping tempo of images to surface the latent underpinnings of this mood, located in the helplessness and corresponding desire for control that stutter throughout the sequence. Consistent with themes found in his previous book Alpine StarDark Matter is at once a self-reflexive meditation on how cultural context shapes one’s sense of self, and an examination of the way in which photography, as a mass-medium, both mirrors and reinforces shared perceptions and attitudes.
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